"I wish they could stay little forever" and "I wish I could just freeze time" are phrases often said by parents. When you are a parent, time flies. Sometimes I look at my older daughter, soon to turn five years old and I seriously wonder "How did we get here"? It really feels like just yesterday I was holding her as a tiny baby in my arms. Then seemingly overnight she has grown into a walking, talking, silly, wild preschooler. Before I know it she will be taller than me and moving out. It goes by in a heartbeat.
While I understand the sentiment behind wanting your babies to stay babies forever, I don't feel that way. Yes, I love my children just as they are today. I love my sweet innocent four year old who is still willing to snuggle on my lap from time to time and who still tells me how much she loves me every day. I love my adorable 9 month old with her roly poly arms and legs, who I get to rock and snuggle and nurse every day. I love them just as they are right now and I cherish every moment. But I really don't wish they would stay like this forever. I know what it's like to have a baby forever.
The day that James and Penelope were born was the only day that I had with them. I spent hours holding them. Staring at them and trying to burn their images into my brain. Their tiny little bodies will never grow a day older. They will always be my babies. There will be no first smiles. No first time crawling or first steps. No first words and saying "Mama" for the first time. I will never watch them ride the bus off to their first day of kindergarten. I won't argue with them as teenagers about keeping their rooms clean or doing the dishes. I won't hold back tears as I drop them off at college. I won't be there on their wedding day or watch them become parents someday. They are just my babies and that's all they can be. Forever frozen in time.
So although it's bitter sweet to watch my living children grow up, I cherish it. I know that each day that goes by is another day that I am lucky to be their mother. They will get bigger, and louder, and messier. Their will come a day that I hear the dreaded words "I hate you Mom". They won't always want to hug me. They will grow up. I and for that I am incredibly thankful.